DISC is a tool widely used in business environments for hiring, team building and improving communication. The power of DISC, however, can go a long way and has applications far beyond the standard office setting. Being a unique approach to understanding human behavior and avoiding conflict, DISC can be applied at home too! PeopleKeys conducted a short survey on DISC parenting styles, and our responders (all of them teenagers) reported the following categories of parenting styles:
- The Boss: 18% – “Do it or else…!”
- The Communicator: 18% – “Do it and I'll buy you ice cream.”
- The Nurturer: 10% – “Do it or you'll break your mother's heart.”
- The Organizer: 54% – “Do it or I'll have to sit you down and explain all the possible consequences of not doing it.”
Can you recognize the DISC styles behind these statements? Let’s help you out:
- The first parent is a dominant style and D-styles take no opposition. It’s their way or the highway!
- The bribing parent is an I-Style. Having a natural desire to be liked and appreciated, they will always play the good cop in any parenting situation.
- The parent who relies on family bonds is obviously an S-Personality. “S” types avoid conflicts and regard family as their highest priority.
- Surprisingly, most parents in our survey turned out to be a C-Personality, as they try to provide their children with a structured approach to growing up and understanding their responsibilities.
Our teenager respondents were also asked to provide their best advice to the different groups of parenting styles. Here are some of our favorite responses:
Advice to a D-Style Parent (a.k.a. The Boss)
- “Recognize that your child's style is probably different than your own. Allow him/her to operate in their style. Give them freedom to fail.” – CA
- “Consider it a ‘task’ to listen to your child and ask questions. Challenge yourself to read part of a parenting book or blog at least once a month. Give your child a get-out-of-trouble card once a month. So if they do something that angers you, they can hand you the card and you have to ‘lay off.’” – JD
- “Children will always remember how you left them feeling. And sometimes that can be categorized easily into simply 'good' and 'bad.'” – TZ
- “You don't have to win every argument.” – DB
- “Learn to ask good questions instead of always offering solutions.” – WD
- “Tone down, don't put high expectation or pressure on your child!” – AC
- “Allow time for your ‘C’ and ‘S’ children to think through and complete tasks, and help them create a step-by-step list of 'how to.'” – AF
Advice to an I-Style Parent (a.k.a. The Communicator)
- “Ask your child questions and practice just listening. For every question you don't start talking, give yourself a dollar to spend frivolously.” – JD
- “Be firm” – KK
- “Stop talking and listen” – JF
- “Be willing to risk the pain of temporary rejection in order to instill healthy boundaries in your children. Listen more and talk less.” - WD
- “Say what you mean and mean what you say….follow through with what you tell your children. Allow them to retell a story, share the spotlight.” – AF
Advice to an S-Style Parent (a.k.a. The Nurturer)
- “Make a list if things your child does that you know they shouldn't get away with pick one and make them stick to it.” – JD
- “Discover your child's gifts. Discover in what ways they need to be challenged/what makes them grow.” – TZ
- “Be willing to try new things and take a few risks in order to tie heart strings with your ‘I’ and ‘D’ children.” – WD
- “Awesome, continue to be supportive.” – AC
- “Read ‘Boundaries with Kids,’ by Cloud and Townsend. Think of the future spouse when you are tempted to do everything for them.” - WD
- “Think ahead and know some kids will act without thinking… step out of your comfort zone to help grow your kids…be spur of the moment sometimes.” – AF
Advice to a C-Style Parent (a.k.a. The Organizer)
- “Avoid being critical or correcting on things that really don't make that much of a difference. Too much criticism can stifle the child's self-esteem and potential.” – CA
- “Schedule times to stop. In all the chores and activities, all the schoolwork and outings, make a point of scheduling blocks of “stopping” to just spend with your child. Brush her hair. Look at his trading cards. Nothing complicated.” – TZ
- “Let go.” – KK
- “Try to find a positive to encourage your child's growth before addressing a negative trait that's hindering growth.” – WD
- “Let your child express his own way of organization, they might not be as detailed as you.” – AC
- “Let your children have a space they can organize or not organize… Be spur of the moment sometimes.” – AF
- “Get involved in a leadership role of a relationship organization with your child (i.e. Indian Princess or Scouts). Your standards are probably too high for them. Fake being an encourager until it becomes natural. Tell your child you love them unconditionally (and do it), what they are good at and that you are proud of them. All parents should do this, but especially a ‘C’ as they can seem impossible to please and the child grows up feeling they don't measure up.” – WD
To better understand your child's behavior, check out the DISC Parenting Tips blog featuring summer activities based on your child's personality style.